KITCHEN TIP | BLIND BAKING A PIE SHELL

Pies with especially wet fillings like quiches and custard pies as well as pies to be filled with pre-cooked fillings (such as chocolate cream pie) require the pie shell to be baked prior to filling. You'll often see this referred to as "blind baking". 

The process is pretty straightforward and simple and only requires some advanced planning and extra time worked into your baking process.

GENERAL PIE DOUGH TIPS

If your dough has been refrigerated, let it sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes to make it more workable. Frozen dough should be thawed in the refrigerator over night then at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. 

If you start rolling your dough and it cracks, let it rest longer to warm up a bit. If your dough seems too soft, pop it back in the fridge for a few minutes. 

TO BLIND BAKE A PIE SHELL

Roll your pie dough out into a circle about 1/8" thick on a well floured surface. Fit into your pie plate.

Using kitchen shears or a sharp paring knife, trim the edge of the pie dough to be about 1" to 1.5" bigger than the outer rim of your pie plate. Tuck the overhanging pie dough under so that there is a double layer of dough at the edge.

Crimp the edge all the way around using the thumb and forefinger on your left hand and thumb on your right hand (or vice versa if you're a lefty).

 

Using a fork, "dock" or pierce the pie shell all over the bottom and sides. The holes created allow steam to escape and will help prevent the pie dough from puffing up as it bakes. 

Refrigerate your crimped and docked pie shell for at least an hour. Don't be tempted to skip this step - it is crucial to the pie shell maintaining its shape and lovely crimped edge when baked.

 

Line your pie shell with parchment paper and fill to the top with dried beans, rice or ceramic pie weights. (Beans or rice can be used over and over again as pie weights. Let cool after use then store in a jar for the next time you bake a pie.)

Bake pie shell in a 350F oven for 20-25 minutes.* Carefully remove the parchment paper and the weights. Return the pie shell to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before filling.

*Or bake according to your specific recipe. 

 

Prepare to Feast!

It's time to start thinking about the greatest holiday of the year (at least in our opinion!). Let us help make your Thanksgiving holiday a relaxing occasion this year. From appetizers to desserts we have kits from our kitchen to help minimize the time you spend in yours over the holiday.

For all the details about our special Thanksgiving Kits along with everything 
coming in next week's boxes, check out the weekly newsletter.

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Tips + Tricks for Quick Weeknight Meals

We know how valuable your time is and we want to do everything possible to make it easier for you to both shop AND cook local. We are going to lay out a plan to turn your Locavore Box into quick weeknight meals.  With a little planning and prep, you can make weeknight cooking quick and easy.

The first thing you need to do is gather the supplies you'll need to prep + store your veggies. If you are truly committed to cooking from scratch {which is great to strive for} then definitely invest a little money to buy the tools and supplies that will make your life easier.  Next week we will post a list of our staff's favorite kitchen tools and where you can buy them. Check back!

 

Things you'll need to prep this week's box:

An awesome knife
A large cutting board
A rolling pin
7 - 32oz Ball jars or similar
2 - 8oz Ball jars or similar
1 - 4oz Ball jar or similar
Cheese Grater
Vegetable Peeler 
Clean Dish Towel

Step 1:  Pull out your potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and leeks. Wash, dry and set next to your cutting board.

Step 2:  Prep veggies

     Cube red potatoes and place in a 32oz jar, fill jar with water
     Peel and cube yellow potatoes and place in a 32oz jar, fill jar with water
     Cut leeks in half lengthwise, slice and place in a 32oz jar
     Peel + dice carrots. Add 1/2 to one 32oz jar and 1/2 to a second 32oz jar
     Peel two yellow onions, finely dice, then add to both 32oz jars with carrots
     Peel red onion, reserve half for another use, and finely dice the remainder and add to an 8oz jar
     Dice celery and add to one jar with carrots + onions

Step 3:  Pull out your kale, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Wash, dry and set next to your cutting board.

Step 4:  Continue to prep veggies

     Peel and mince 5 cloves of garlic. Add 3 cloves to jar with red onion, and 1 clove to each jar with carrots
     Remove and discard stems from kale, coarsely chop leaves and place in 32oz jar
     Pick 3 tsp of leaves from thyme. Place 2 tsp in jar with carrots, onions + celery and 1 tsp in jar with carrots + onions
     Chop 1-2 tsp of rosemary and place in jar with red onions

Step 5:  Pick through garbanzo beans, place in 32oz jar and fill jar with cold water. 

Step 6:  Grate cheese and place in 8oz jar 

Step 7:  Put everything away and you're now prepped to cook for the week.

 

If you know next week is going to be crazy, consider taking your prep one step further.

Cook Your Smoked Salmon Chowder:
This chowder is even better on day two so it's the perfect "make ahead" meal. You'll also love it for lunches!

Cook Your Soaked Beans:
Soak the beans overnight. Drain the beans, put in a pot and cover with cold water by at least 2”. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until tender. Drain then refrigerate.

Alternatively, you can power soak your beans! Bring unsoaked beans to a boil, simmer briskly for two minutes, remove from heat and cover. Set aside for 1 hour.

Partially Cook Your Shepherd's Pie:
Follow your menu to make both the mashed potatoes + meat filling. With those two things done, all you need to do is assemble + bake!

Partially Cook Your Quiche:
Get a head start on your quiche by cooking up your leeks and rolling out your pie dough. If you have space in your freezer, you can even freeze the dough in the pie dish.

Reserve your cutting board trimmings for stock:
Whatever you do, do not throw away all those veggie trims and pieces. Toss them with leftover herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast on a sheet pan for 30 minutes. Or, simply cover with water, bring to a simmer and cook for about an hour. Use your homemade veggie stock in this week's Shepherd's Pie or freeze in 16oz containers for future use. Looking for more tips + tricks for stock? Check out this blogpost over at The Kitchn.